As a theatre major at Loyola University, Elizabeth Ledo was just hoping she could make a career as an actorthe gender-neutral term she prefers.
Sure enough, 10 years later, she's doing just fine.
Ledo has appeared in performances at most major Chicago theatres, including Goodman, Court and Steppenwolf; she's currently at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, performing until March 6 in its production of As You Like It.
"It's been a real blessing," Ledo said.
Her big break in the industry came in the spring of 1999, the year she graduated from Loyola, when she was cast in the Steppenwolf Theatre's production of Morning Star.
"That really put me on the map," she said. "It was the right vehicle and I went from there. I knew when I was cast in it that it had the potential to be something really good for meand it was."
Ledo said she really enjoys the social side of acting, but constantly looking for work is the biggest challenge.
Ledo added voiceover work to her resume several years ago, and in recent years could have been heard pitching Safeway, Dial Bodywash, Pledge and even McDonald's, among others.
"Voiceover work is good money, and I really love the fun and excitement of it," she said. "I learn something new every time I go into the studio."
Ledo said her favorite actresses are Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep, Cherry Jones and Bernadette Peters. Her favorite actors are Jeremy Irons and Geoffrey Rush.
Name: Elizabeth Ledo
Hometown: Fort Wayne, Ind.
Pets: Two dogs, Hazel and Cooper
Dating: Erin Weinhardt, a physical therapist
Hobbies: Being outdoors, hiking, rafting, playing the guitar and photography
It's a fact: Was a competitive swimmer for 12 years